Winnipeg is Manitoba’s capital and largest city in the province — one of the three prairie provinces (others being Alberta and Saskatchewan) of Canada. While there are nearly 240 neighbourhoods in Winnipeg, downtown Winnipeg is the city’s economic core and also the fastest-growing high income neighbourhood. With an increased newcomer population in recent years, Winnipeg is becoming an increasingly attractive destination as one of the most economical cities in Canada. 

Here are the top seven tips for first-time renters in Winnipeg:

  • Shortlist a few neighbourhoods to keep your search focused

      • Considering factors such as proximity to schools, your workplace, grocery stores, transportation, shopping malls, places of worship, etc. can help with shortlisting neighbourhoods.
      • According to RestFaster.ca some of the top neighbourhoods to rent in Winnipeg are St. Vital, Wolseley, Norwood (East and West), St. Norbert, Crescentwood, Tuxedo, Richmond Lakes, Seven Oaks, Niakwa Park, and Windsor Park. 
  • Budgeting can help you estimate actual expenses and better prepare for them

      • Budgeting is important to estimate the ‘real’ cost of renting a place. Don’t forget to account for utilities (such as electricity, heat, water, air-conditioning) as they may not always be included in your rent. Phone, cable, and internet charges are monthly additions too. Use Arrive’s Monthly Expenses Calculator for better planning! 
      • Most units will require a security deposit (approximately 50% of your monthly rent) to be paid either at the time of application or after being approved. This amount is refundable and will be used to cover any damages that may occur in the unit during your stay. Be sure to include that in! 
  • Provincially-popular renting sites are good channels to get a headstart on your search

  • Avoid hassles by inspecting the place before signing the lease

      • Be sure to check the condition of the unit in-person, inclusions and exclusions for the rental cost, and look for any existing minor/major damages to the property. 
      • Don’t forget to look for bed bugs and pests! 
  • Upon approval, ask for a ‘condition report’

      • A ‘condition report’ describes the state of the unit before you move-in. This ensures that you would not have to pay for damages that already existed before you moved in. It is recommended to take photographs to supplement the condition report. 
  • Get tenant/renters insurance for protection against damage, theft, or disasters

      • Always compare quotes from various banks, third-party websites, and insurance brokers to find one that’s best suited to your needs. The Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba is a good place to find brokers.
      • Tenant insurance is an economical way to protect your unit from damage, theft, or any other disasters.  
  • Avail free rental workshops organized for newcomers in Winnipeg

    • New Journey Housing is an organization that’s working to reduce the challenges newcomers to Canada face as they seek to attain and retain decent affordable housing in Manitoba with a focus on Winnipeg. 
    • In addition to a plethora of housing resources on their website, they also organize a free rental workshop for newcomers that covers topics such as where to search and how to apply for rental housing, expectations from landlords and tenants, security deposits and move-in reports, how to care for and be safe in your apartment, housing financial assistance, and more. 

Moving to a new city or a new province can be challenging but with the right research and resources, you will be able to find a rental unit within your budget and smoothly settle-in.

Sources: 
Live & Learn — an online community for new Manitobans, New Journey Housing, Moving Waldo, Renting in Manitoba Guide, Wikipedia